As a young girl, I would lay in bed at night and pray for a way to happiness. I didn’t know what it would look like, but anything other than my own drug-induced environment would have sufficed.
I prayed incessantly for love. I didn’t know what that looked like either, but eventually, it showed up.
Night after long night, it showed up. I would wait apprehensively for the love that I knew was coming—from the wrong man in the wrong way.
Night after long, dark night.
The one thing I could rely on happening consistently. The one source of comfort in my young life. The one person who I knew was always going to show up. The one person who would never go away.
I reached and searched for a way out that I couldn’t find.
So, I waited. For time to pass. For years to pass. I knew I would grow up some day and there would be light. And I did, but where was this happiness that I asked for? And the love?
Oh there he is! He is perfect. He will fill every need and desire that I have. And all will be well in my world.
Did I suck that incredible man dry. And yet again, life was treacherous. For 17 years, a radical roller coaster of putting on a show and forcing things to be great. Filling my holes of darkness with another human’s heart.
Until it fell apart, landing me deeper and darker in my emptiness.
With the woman in the mirror.
Naked, scarred, and out of breath.
Until I looked her into her eyes and the depth of her soul. And finally, I took her by the hand and we walked through the muck and the mud. Through the bottles of booze and puddles of tears.
We stood back up, over and over and over again.
Love? I am love.
All along it was you.
All along it was me.
And here I stand. Strong. Happy. Free.
I. Am. Love.